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February 2, 2023

Apartments with affordable units planned for Simsbury

Contributed A rendering of a proposed building at 446 Hopmeadow St., Simsbury

A developer with an eye toward smaller, more affordable apartments is proposing a multi-unit residential development in west Simsbury.

Vessel RE Holdings LLC has plans for a four-story building at 446 Hopmeadow St., about a mile outside the center of town.

The project calls for 80 rental apartments, the majority being one-bedroom units, and three units containing two bedrooms.

Vessel Executive Vice President Josh Levy said this project location was appealing because of the beauty and charm of the town, and proximity to the central village area with restaurants, coffee shops and small businesses.

He sees a strong market in smaller, more affordable units in highly desirable communities like west SImsbury where units would appeal to young professionals or empty nesters.

“There’s a need for this type of housing,” he said. “Our mission is to provide access to higher-quality housing for ‘the missing middle,’” or individuals who don’t qualify for affordable housing but for whom larger, more luxury units are out of reach, he said. “We target rents to be affordable to those people.”

Twenty-four of the units will be rent-restricted for 40 years, the application said. 

Monthly rents for an affordable one-bedroom unit in west Simsbury would range between $1,054 and $1,265, and between $1,302 and $1,563 for a two-bedroom. 

Market-rate rents would likely start around $1,650, Levy said.

The proposed site sits on nearly 2 acres, close to a bus stop that travels to Hartford, and has neighboring condominiums and a bike path. 

The apartment building will have 94 parking spaces in the front of the building.

Vessel RE Holdings LLC is an affiliate of New York City-based Vessel Technologies Inc., which was founded in 2017 with the goal of addressing the housing affordability crisis. 

The company has other similar housing projects in the works, including a proposed five-story building in Rocky Hill that would contain 30, one-bedroom units, of which nine would be rent-restricted for low- and moderate-income households. 

The Rocky Hill project has gone through the public hearing process and Vessel partners are awaiting a decision from town land use boards, which they hope will come this month, then construction can begin.

Vessel projects use a modular building technique that quickens and streamlines the construction process by building parts of the development off-site and assembling them in-place. 

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